So, a few months ago, Waitrose announced the #TasteofSummer competition and the rules were, simply tag pictures of your food with that hashtag for a chance to win 3 prizes. One of which was a barbecue with Heston Blumenthal himself, the other was an evening at their cookery school for a cocktails and party bites course, the last was a garden party hosted for you by Waitrose. Y’all know what prize I would have immediately jumped at, but I didn’t think I would win anything. I have been told repeatedly to have more confidence and faith in what I do. I am getting there, I promise. These past few weeks, from Wayfair, to Buzzfeed, to Oreo, to Aduna, to LazyCook, to Waitrose, did I tell you ASDA sent me their products to try, so did Haagen Dazs, yes you read that correctly. All these major brands know about Dooney’s Kitchen. I still can’t wrap my head around it. The movement is in action. Thank you Lord for Grace and Favour.
Anyways, I was tagged on Instagram by Waitrose, saying I won the cookery course. Geez, I almost jumped out of my chair. I mean, I used the hashtag on NIGERIAN dishes, albeit the fusion ones. Posts like Jollof Risotto, Garri Lemonade, Ogi Popsicles and so on. OMG, I couldn’t believe it. Of all the thousands and I mean thousands of entries, go check that hashtag for yourself on Facebook and Instagram, I was selected as one of the winners. Yaaaaaaay.
The course was to hold in groups of two, so I was allowed to bring one person. For sure, it had to be from my IG followers. The support I have received on Instagram is like nothing I have ever seen before. You guys on there have been like a family of brothers, sisters and cousins that I have never met. So, I simply asked that if anyone could be available on Thursday Aug 13th, they should send me a direct message. Oh wow, the messages came flying in, I didn’t even know how to choose, so my intuition told me to pick the very first person, and that is how I met Tope of @teelonis. When I think of it now, our paths were definitely meant to cross. She herself didn’t think she was going to win, because she said she has never won anything in her life before. We met and hit it off, straight away. We even have someone we have worked for in common. She runs a bespoke gift service, where you tell her about the person you are gifting and she picks out something they will appreciate, complete with cake too. Check her out on Instagram.
Anyways, the waitrose cookery school is a joy to behold. OMG, the cooking space, the decor of the building, gosh it made me hope, it made me pray, it made me wish. I will have a Dooney’s Kitchen Cookery School like that and even better in the future by His Grace. Shall the Tribe say a resounding AMEN!!!
Tope and I had quite the day, making Cocktails,
in her case mocktails
….and some delicious food. I have to bring you guys the recipe for that chicken. Goodness me, I wanted to eat the plate too. Lol
The next thing we had to make was Arancini. You guys, I have seen this thing being made on TV, from cooking shows to cooking competitions, and not once did it occur to me to make it Nigerian, like not once. Even while watching the instructor show us how it was done, it didn’t click until it got to the time to make it ourselves and it was as if a light bulb went on in my head. Of course, OMG, why hasn’t that ever occurred to me before.
before we started cooking, we asked for chili powder and crushed chilies. As Nigerian women, we just had to ask for pepper. hehehehehehe. This gave me the idea to use Yaji (suya pepper), when i recreated it at home.
I kept telling Tope that I was going to make this Nigerian. I mean, I made a successful Jollof Risotto, surely I can make Jollof Arancini too. The idea locked in my head since Thursday night, and I only tried it this very early morning.
Poor Tope, I called her very early this morning to ask if we used flour, because all i could remember were breadcrumbs and egg. She said, “yes I think we did, isn’t the recipe in the folder they gave us to take home”? Hand on forehead, of course it is. Oops, sorry i called you this early, bye bye. Lol. Little does she know that she has been inducted into the Dunni’s friends hall of fame. hahahahahaha. My proper friends already know me. They are the ones i call at odd hours to talk about food. Lol
Quick rush to get the folder, confirmed how I was going to do it, and BOOM!!! It worked. Let’s cook
- Jollof rice - preferably leftovers
- 1 egg
- Yaji - suya pepper
- Panko breadcrumbs - best because of its shaggy texture
- Plain flour
- dodo or fried meat - or any filling of your choice
- Crushed chilies - flaky dried pepper
- Jollof rice in its natural state would not work for this, because the sticky nature of a risotto allows it to be easily moulded into a ball, so you would need the jollof rice to be soggy, and cool down in its soggy nature, making it easily workable.
- Heat up enough oil to deep fry on low to medium heat, so that by the time the balls are ready, the oil will be hot enough
- Get three bowls and place on your kitchen counter to form a work station of sorts. In one bowl beat an egg and season with salt, in the other bowl add some flour and yaji (suya pepper) to season, while in the third bowl add the panko breadcrumbs and crushed chilies. Here's a pic of Panko breadcrumbs look like.
- Scoop some jollof rice with your fingers and flatten/pat down with the tip of your fingers. Place your filling on top of the rice, in this case, fried meat
- Scoop out more jollof rice with your fingers and mould around the meat till you get a well defined ball.
- Repeat the process until you exhaust all the jollof rice
- Dip that ball in flour to coat. This will absorb some of the moisture
- Shake off any excess flour, and then dip in the beaten eggs
- Again, shake off any excess egg then finally dip into the breadcrumbs, make sure the ball is properly coated
- Then place on a plate.
- Repeat the process
- By now, the oil should be hot enough. I would suggest that you fry one first to test out the temperature of the oil, and to be sure your balls have integrity
- Once it works, you are good to go
- Fry the rest
- Very easy
More pictures from the day, hey we even got certificates too. Such fun. She has invited me to a birthday party this Sunday, and you bet I am going. Love what I do, love that it brings amazing people my way.
Dooney’s Kitchen Tribe, its slogan is of course, connecting people, through food.
…….and we got certificates. I had so much fun meeting one of you @teelonis. We've been chatting like old friends and she's a creative too. This has given me an idea for a giveaway when the page hits 50K followers. Stay tuned and encourage your friends and family to Follow the @dooneyskitchen and @dooneyskitchentribe ??? #bestesttribeever #youguysROCK #thanksforalltheAMENs!!! #fromyourfingerstoTheThroneofGrace #weshallwitnessit #itwillcometopass
You can try to make Arancini from fried rice too, or even Ofada. Get creative, and don’t forget to share and tag @dooneyskitchen. I would love to see your creations